Thought I would add my final thoughts. Overall, I'm pleased with the purchase and I think this will extend the life of my MacBook for a few years. I can't sit here and tell you the performance is earth shattering but here are my bulleted observations:
1) External monitor support is super stable. It could have been Big Sur or whatever macOS shipped with this MacBook but I recall having lots of trouble getting external monitors to work at the time I received this system. I'm using two monitors (Dell 4K and Dell 5K, and the 5K requires TWO DisplayPort cables) that I also used with my Mac Pro 2013 (D500). Using this eGPU provides for a much faster "wake from sleep" experience on both monitors and other than some strangeness with the 5K I see now and then, it works better than it did on my Mac Pro. Both monitors are starting to show their age though and I'm hoping to replace them with matching monitors soon.
2) A lot of people have commented that when and how Final Cut uses the eGPU seems illogical. I have found that for rendering, especially with something like Neat or FilmConvert, the eGPU is utilized and overall, the render times are much faster than relying on the Intel GPU (or the D500s I had in the Mac Pro for that matter). However, I almost never see it use more than like 10% of the eGPU's power. And for exports, if you're exporting to H.264 or H.265, the MacBook's encoder is prioritized over whatever is in the eGPU. If, however, I choose to export a timeline I haven't bothered to render, the eGPU is then used to render everything and then the T2 encoder takes over for the export (this appears to happen simultaneously). All that said, I'm seeing significantly shorter export times.
3) One last observation, playback in the timeline is much smoother. So the experience of using Final Cut appears more stable. For my configuration, I have BOTH of my external monitors connected to the eGPU and my MacBook lid is closed. This supposedly forces the eGPU to be utilized for playback / timeline purposes and so far, that appears to be the case.
So to conclude, the purchase was worth it for me. And when I stop staring at Activity Monitor to see what the eGPU is doing and just, god forbid, use my MacBook, I'm getting great performance. I won't pretend that any editor can truly be compared to another but for my use, the eGPU allowed me to delay purchasing a new system for a couple more years and get rid of my secondary system. I've heard rumblings that Ventura will provide a little more support for eGPUs, at least insofar as being able to monitor eGPU temperature. That has me hopeful that Apple is still putting in driver work for AMD's offerings. Though I'm not fooling myself - I sincerely doubt we'll see eGPU support on an M1 / M2 Mac anytime soon, if ever.
Again, I appreciate those that gave their input and hope that this information can be useful for anyone in the same position I found myself a month back.